What, your flashlight only has WHITE light? That’s so overused. You need to broaden your horizons my friend. Seek true enlightenment.
Meat and Potatoes
The NiteCore SRT-7 Revenger (Revenge for what?) is the newest entrant into a relatively narrow field of torches that don’t feel constrained to simply one color. One of the earliest lights in the field was the Surefire Aviator. This SRT-7 actually appears to share a lot of heritage with that old bastion. It too shares a trio of 5mm LEDs surrounding the main beam. NiteCore has ratcheted things up several notches however through some serious improvements. Instead of the limited output of the incandescent bulb, the SRT-7 sports the most cutting edge of available high power LEDs, the Cree XM-L2. Also improved upon, the single output secondary LEDs are full RGB models that remove the need to choose your chromatic output flavor at the point of purchase.
The user interface is, in my opinion, the most brilliantly implemented part of this whole package. Using what is likely my favorite control method, the selector ring, NiteCore has combined fully variable output and multi-colored secondary beam selection into one well-organized sequence. Placing the more “interesting” blinky options out on the fringes and the well used constant outputs together in the center is definitely my preferred layout. I will say this, the SRT-7 has some very unique extra modes that I haven’t seen on any lights before. The beacon mode is a single quick strobe at full power about every 3 seconds, and there is a wild blue/red strobe that looks very much like the lights on a police car. Also, the hyperactive strobe mode proves that nearly a thousand lumens can easily be rather nausea inducing when applied correctly.
The smooth adjustment variable white light is definitely a strong suit for this torch. It gives you very precise control over how much output you want, and has just enough tension to hold it there without being cumbersome when you need to adjust. The control ring as implemented here is one of the best I’ve yet used (and I’ve used a fair amount). I don’t personally think my sample goes down anywhere near the 0.1 lumen minimum claimed by NiteCore, but for a torch with “infinite” adjustment up to “burn your retinas”, this isn’t a deal breaker. The Red light is always available if you need to preserve your night vision more.
Boasting an impressive 960 lumens at peak output, the SRT-7 is a stark reminder of how far portable illumination has come. NiteCore has paired this top-notch emitter with a deep, smooth reflector, only sacrificing tiny cutouts for the secondary LEDs around the edges. This translates into a tightly focused thrower that completely belies the large die of the XM-L2. Where once an LED as sizeable as this would mandate a floody beam, now we have a focus that speaks volumes to improvements in reflector geometry.
Fit and finish is definitely par for the course. If you’ve seen the average NiteCore product, or any of their competitors, you know that solid machining and quality anodizing are now the norm, rather than the exception. The styling on this particular model is a little more aggressive than many I’ve seen lately, and as such has some edges that are a little more grabby, but nothing feels inordinately rough like it is unfinished. It’s just not quite as smooth as some lights. This does make a barrel with a good amount of grip, which will help during damp or cold conditions.
If you’ve been following my reviews long enough, you might already know one thing I’m going to mention here. Once again NiteCore has attempted to blur the lines between an easily accessible protruding switch button, and a fully recessed tailstanding option. The end result is one that is adept at neither. I know I sound like a broken record here (anybody remember those?) but this does not work. Pick one or the other. You will alienate a few customers either way, but you will have a product that works significantly better for the other crowd. Shoot, why not make tailcaps completely modular and allow people to easily purchase the option they would prefer? There has to be a better way.
Any time you pair basic 5mm LEDs with a reflector, you run the risk of some oddball beam characteristics. A trio of them stationed around the edges of a polished smooth reflector like this one and you get a beam that looks more like modern art than illumination. If I were able to get to them, I might try roughing up their surface with some steel wool with the same treatment I gave to my Fenix E01, but the head on this beast seems pretty well sealed. I don’t know if there is any easy fix for this one at all, so this critique ends up being more of a caution to buyers. Be prepared for a very ringy beam when it comes to the color modes. The main beam is smooth enough, but the secondary ones leave a little to be desired.
“At last we will reveal ourselves to the Incandescents. At last we will have our revenge.”(I still don’t get that name).
Funky naming schemes aside, the SRT-7 is a solid contender for a belt-carry light. The ability to select your output independently from activating the light is always one I prefer. The SRT-7 simply does so with more options and a panache not seen on many competitors.
Provided for review by the kind folks at NiteCore.
Power for this review supplied by PTS-Flashlights.
Help support Layman’s Flashlight Reviews by using this link to buy NiteCore SRT7 on Amazon. It doesn’t cost you anything extra!